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Malaysia: Roda Dimensi Is On Track with SINOTRUK SITRAK

Date:2021-11-05 Author:Sarah Source:AsianTrucker

MALAYSIA, November 5, 2021  chinatrucks com  --Adapting to the current situation, Roda Dimensi refocuses on importing China-made Sitrak to compensate for the shortage of European second-hand vehicles. 

Malaysian Company Roda Dimensi is on Track with Sitrak

The pandemic has impacted businesses in different ways and individual businesses find unique answers. As the supply chains across the globe have been affected, trucks in Europe are not clocking in as much milage as they used to, thus they are kept longer by their owners before they are being divested and sold abroad. This is a situation that has caused Eric Tee of Roda Dimensi Sdn Bhd to rethink his business.

By mid-2020, Tee realised that he has to supplement his portfolio of used,imported trucks to as there is a severe shortage of used trucks he could snap up. A connection was made and China National Heavy Duty Truck Group, which is commonly referred to as “CNHTC", offered Tee the dealership of one of their models for Malaysia. According to Tee, the Sitrak is a very attractive vehicle, as it has a solid drive train.“CNHTC is in a joint venture with MAN. One gets a Chinese vehicle with a MAN cab and drivetrain. That is what convinced us to give this range a try.”

The first trucks were commissioned recently and already positive feedback is being gathered. Driver comfort has been highlighted, which according to Tee is not surprising, considering that the cab is “about identical” with the original MAN design. He pointed out that the cab may not be the top of the range with all the trimmings, but rather a cab that is suited to the local market. The sleeper cab offers hauliers an extra layer of comfort and space.

While the truck may be a hot-seller in China, the homologation for the Malaysian market proved difficult.“After careful consideration we decided to go ahead. However, the type approvals and licences were difficult to obtain as we had to deal with restrictions and constraints as a results of the lockdowns.”

Like many of us experienced, thelockdowns impacted the schedules of government authorities necessary to keep things moving. “There have been a lot of delays and only recently have we been able to hand over vehicles.” Based in Port Klang, Roda Dimensi is perfectly poised to service the haulage market. Offering service and maintenance for a range of truck brands, it was relatively easy to add Sitrak to their stable of brands. With a workshop having over 30 workbays, Tee was able to convince some key clients to consider Sitraks. One of these pioneers is no stranger to the idea of using used trucks imported from Europe.

Typically, hauliers would opt for European trucks as uptime is crucial. To support this, the Chinese principal offered the Sitrak brand with the European-spec drive train to be pitted against their other models, which are also popular in Malaysia. The offered trucks are 6x2 as the configuration best suited to address the needs of hauliers, while 4x2 and 6x4 are also available. Confidence is high that these vehicles will perform as the engines are either 11L or 13L sized with 430 Hp, which should be ample pulling power. Trucks are imported as CBU with plans underway to change to CKD and to standardise the engine to 13 litres.

Those who know the brand will know that Syarikat Logistic Petikemas Sdn Bhd is not shying away from using second hand vehicles. One of their hallmarks is having a large contingent of Dutch trucks. Ts Pandian Krishnan, Head of Engineering, admits that the fact that the Sitrak trucks come with MAN drivetrain has convinced them to give the truck a try. An initial order for three Sitrak was placed with confidence boosted by the nine year service and maintenance contract bolted on. It needs to be pointed out that this contract even includes batteries and air-conditioning. Whatever small repairs, like changing mudguards, might be needed will be handled by the in-house workshop.

With a fleet of over 400 trucks, Syarikat Logistic Petikemas has a lot of data to compare the trucks to. Fuel efficiency and purchase prices have been crucial decision making factors. “One of the issues we insist on is driver training to ensure that the vehicles are operated at peak performance. Due to the restrictions imposed during the Movement Control Order, we had our in-housetrainer trained first and he in turn then briefed our drivers.”

There may still be some that are sceptical of China-brand trucks. Roda Dimensi is bold in their ambition as they are offering repair and maintenance contracts. Adding to that, a buy-back program covering an astonishing nine years is part of the package for these vehicles. “We have to find ways to be competitive in the market!” Tee exclaimed. This approach is also evident in the fuel option chosen for the Sitrak. One may have noticed that there are already Sitrak vehicles on the road, imported by another dealer, using gas engines. However,while gas may be a more economical option, the lack of infrastructure for these vehicles has been an issue for some time, with cabbies complaining that their big brothers take too long to re-fill and thus impacting their business. Consequently, Roda Dimensi has opted for the good-ol Diesel.

Several hauliers have given the Sitrak already the nod of approval whereas Tee is proud to report that the vehicle has also been chosen by a palm oil transporter. “Hopefully, soon we can showcase the Sitrak to a wider audience as we are confident that it is configured right for our market,” Tee concluded with the invitation for virtual walk-arounds to experience the trucks while travel and supply of European trucks is still impeded.


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